Feathered Icon Breeds in Wellington

New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, has hatched eggs in the wild in the Wellington area for the first time in living memory, thanks to a multiyear conservation effort, Pete McKenzie reports for The New York Times.

The bustling city’s dangers meant that the kiwi vanished from this part of the country for more than a century. But last year, following a half-decade effort to reduce stoat and rat numbers, dozens of kiwi were reintroduced to the hilly farmlands of Mākara, McKenzie writes.

Many residents were sceptical, said Paul Ward, the director of Capital Kiwi, a conservation group.

Still, he said, “Everyone was so supportive. Who isn’t keen to care for kiwi?”

While kiwi are shy, locals have already begun encountering them. One evening in September, as Sean Duggan navigated his mountain bike around a sharp bend, he spotted two strange shadows. It took him a moment to realise what the whiskered feather balls were.

“They looked like avocados with long legs,” he joked. “You just don’t expect to see them.”

Original article by Pete McKenzie, The New York Times, December 4, 2023.

Photo by Christine Stockum.

Tags: Capital Kiwi  Conservation  Kiwi  New York Times (The)  pest eradication  Wellington  

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

Unique Prehistoric Dolphin Discovered

A prehistoric dolphin newly discovered in the Hakataramea Valley in South Canterbury appears to have had a unique method for catching its prey, Evrim Yazgin writes for Cosmos magazine. Aureia rerehua was…